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Saints Odds / Team Preview – Super Bowl 44

Saints 2010 Superbowl Line, Predictions & Team Preview

The Super Bowl XLIV matchup is set and it’s a dream come true for football fans, TV networks and betting sharps alike. The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts should treat us to a doozie. In the days leading up to the big game, we’ll analyze everything we can to help you make your pick(s). Let’s start by breaking down the underdog Saints.

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NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Betus Odds To Win Superbowl 44 — +5.5)
New Orleans Saints Moneyline Odds to Win Super Bowl XLIV +190

Record (including playoffs): 15-3
Against the spread (including playoffs): 9-9
Over/under (including playoffs): 9-9

Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints Team Breakdown

Offense

Anyone who followed the NFL this season knows that the Saints were the standard for offense in the league. They led the NFL with 31.9 points per game and 403.8 total yards per game. Though he hasn’t had to shoulder the load entirely by himself in the postseason (222 yards per game is low for him), Drew Brees is unquestionably the team leader and the driving force behind the high-octane offense. He overcomes his smallish stature with a hard-nosed mentality and an ability to fit balls in tight spots. He’s been great when called upon so far in these playoffs, posting back-to-back three-touchdown games.

Brees’ accuracy is a major plus but his stable of talented receivers makes his job easier too. It seems a different guy emerges every week, whether it’s jumpball specialist Marques Colston or deep threats like Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem. Scat back Reggie Bush is also making himself relevant as a pass catcher, outside runner and return man again in these playoffs.

The Saints have passed the ball well as long as Brees has played for them but a major key behind their breakout this year has been the vaunted rushing offense. Pierre Thomas (or, at various moments during the year, Bush and Mike Bell) is a well-rounded, tough back who moves the chains. He makes it tough for teams to come from behind against New Orleans.

Defense

The name of the game for New Orleans is opportunity. The Saints aren’t perfect by any means on “D.” They allowed 235.6 passing yards per game in the regular season, ranking 26th in the league, and they’ve allowed 284 passing yards per contest in the playoffs. Their run defense has also been poor for most of the season. Arizona burned them for a long touchdown in the Divisional Playoff and the Vikings churned out 165 rushing yards last Sunday.

Luckily for the Saints, they’re masters at capitalizing on opportunities and forcing turnovers. They picked off Brett Favre twice in the NFC Championship game, forced a whopping six fumbles and recovered three of them. Though they didn’t record a single sack against Minnesota, they hammered Favre with over a dozen hits. Against Peyton Manning, the best-protected quarterback in the sport, the Saints have to hope they can at least make him uncomfortable. If they can, Darren Sharper and Jabari Greer will lurk in the secondary, hoping for interceptions.

Special Teams

Reggie Bush showed against Arizona that he can still be a gamebreaker in the return game but showed the next week that he also still flubs too many punts. The Saints may be better off handing the ball to kickoff returner Courtney Roby, who ranked fifth in the NFL in return average this season. Hey – we have to hand it to Sean Payton for trusting youngster Garrett Hartley in the kicking game. The babyfaced assassin was cool as a cucumber in booting the game winner against Minnesota in overtime. The stakes will rise for the Super Bowl but Hartley’s demeanour suggests he can handle the job.

Coaching

Compared to Indy’s Jim Caldwell, Sean Payton is the much more hands-on coach. He’s cerebral, whether he’s icing kickers, calling flea flickers or throwing his challenge flag. He and Drew Brees always seem on the same page and both play equal roles in making the Saints’ offense deceptive and explosive. Defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams was a huge plus for New Orleans this year, turning them into more aggressive pass rushers.

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Comments

Comments

  1. While we are still over a week away, I really like the Saints +5.5. I do not see this game being more than 7 points either way. These two teams will keep coming after one another so no matter how big of a point gap there may be during the game, it will be close at the end.

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